The Caring Cupboards initiative, which got its start locally in Marshall County has spread across the area and even reached over county lines.
Organizer Rebecca Palmer provided an update to the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety when they met for their final meeting in November.
She explained, “The same time we opened up our Plymouth one, Bourbon had there’s set out as well and now also Knox just put on out that I was able to give them a box for and Bremen is preparing there’s as well. So the wave has spread and I’m really excited that Plymouth has been a part of that.”
When this idea was originally discussed with the Plymouth Board of Works back in July, Palmer noted that the City’s site would be monitored to ensure that no vandalism or misuse takes place.
She updated the board members, “I am happy to report that it’s being used but not abused so people are taking what they need sometimes a lots gone, sometimes nothing and people have actually donated by coming and putting things in.”
The concept behind these readily acceptable pantries is to give community members the freedom to donate and receive assistance at their own convenience.
A number of non-perishable food items as well as hygiene products and other necessities make their way in and out of the re-purposed newspaper stands and each container has been painted and decorated to be unique to its location.
In Knox, there is one box located across from the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center outside of Poppin’ Off Pop Corn on Pearl Street.
Locally, the effort is being referred to as the Little Red Pantry.
Studio 35 Salon on Highway 35 and Keith’s Barber Shop on Shield Street have also volunteered to serve as donation drop-off sites.
Bourbon’s Caring Cupboard is set up in front of their Police Station and the Bremen Food Box is up and running and located downtown near the standpipe, according to officials. Palmer noted another one is expected to go up in front of the Plymouth Police Department as well.
In a social media post, Palmer thanked community members for their generosity and support and addressed some questions about donations.
She said the items that seem to go the fastest are non-food items such as cleaning wipes, diapers, shampoo, conditioner, pet food and large freezer bags which are used for protecting boxed items from moisture. However, she also noted that any kind of donation is always welcome.